Dobama tackles opioid addiction in 'How to Be a Respectable Junkie'

Dobama Theatre is adding a summer production this year: the World Premiere of Greg Vovos’s "How to Be a Respectable Junkie." The play is based on the true story of a recovering heroin addict from Northeast Ohio.

The plot concerns Brian, an addict, who decides to end his life. Before doing so, however, he makes an Internet video for users everywhere, instructing them on how to be “respectable,” because even he has grown weary of their behavior. Despite the subject matter, "Junkie" is both humorous and hopeful, and puts a human face on the issue of opioid addiction.

Greg Vovos is a member of the Playwrights’ GYM, Dobama Theatre’s professional playwriting unit. His most satisfying work has addressed such issues as racism, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and the challenges of transitioning back to society after incarceration. Vovos explained, “For me, writing this play was about theater doing its ultimate job: serving the community.”

Director Nathan Motta believes that the play addresses a vital social issue. "After hours and hours of interviews, Greg has written a moving, heartbreaking, funny, and truthful play that tells both the realities of addiction and the hope of recovery. Given the opioid epidemic in this country, particularly in our region, this piece is timely and important,” Motta said.

Dobama’s production features Christopher Bohan, seen previously this season as Black Stache in "Peter and the Starcatcher" and Sam in "The Flick." 

A preview performance will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. Preview tickets are $10, general admission. A pay-as-you-can ($1 or more per ticket) performance is scheduled for Sunday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m.; advance reservations for that performance can be made by agreeing to pay $5 or more per ticket. 

"How to Be a Respectable Junkie" will be performed Thursdays through Sundays, June 14 through July 2. The play contains the depiction of drug use, smoking and adult language. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 216-932-3396. Dobama Theatre is located at 2340 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

Julie Friedman

Julie Friedman is the managing director of Dobama Theatre.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:44 PM, 06.02.2017